Castell de Sant Joan in Blanes (The castle of Sant Joan)
This monumental Castell Sant Joan Blanes dating back from the mid thirteenth century, was built over an already existing fortification. The watchtower was built much later in the sixteenth century to create a 360 degree panoramic overview of the area. The tower is not accessible, but the views are still amazing.
And yes, this is the place where all the iconic pictures of Blanes are taken.
You know, like the first image below with its big rocks in the sea (Sa Palomera) in the background.
Ermita de Sant Joan Baptista (Hermitage)
On the side there is a small white chapel called ‘Ermita de Sant Joan Baptista’, also dating back from around the second part of the thirteenth century. It got renovated in 1991 along with the castle. This chapel is usually not accessible either.
How do you get here?
This location can be reached in various ways. The easiest way is to get on top of this 180 meter high hill by yourself is of course by car or motor. Just type the address on the information below into your navigation and it will guide you right to the top. There are some parking spots so you’ll be fine.
If you are thinking about going by a regular bike, do yourself a favor and think again.
The way up there is really steep and the only bikes I see up there are sports bikes and the occasional high performance E-Bikes. And even these riders look exhausted.
I personally always go up walking, it’s a bit of an exercise but doable. I take the long way up by road (and the last part off-road) and quick way down by stairs. If you do it this way you get to explore more as well.
Okay now let me guide you with this ‘secret’ shortcut:
Assuming that in this century we all got a phone with navigation, and you´re coming from the direction of center Blanes. (And you are in good health).
Get yourself to ‘Passeig de Santa Barbara’ and walk up all the way till the end (Until the image below). So forget about all the road signs along the way that want to guide you to the castle, these are for cars and the swinging roads will just make you dizzy and walk longer.
When you see the big water station to your left, you go right as the big red arrow on the image indicates. From there you follow the ‘Castell de Sant Joan’ signs right uphill on this rocky path. (Choose the path on the blue arrow if you first want to visit The hermitage of Santa Bàrbara, It is a really beautiful place with great views!).
At one point you might want to leave again, and as mentioned the easiest or quickest way down is by a series of stairs.
In front of the ‘should be drinkable’ water tap (next to the house on number 51), you start walking down the stairs.
Once you are down these first stairs, you walk uphill for around 20 meters (yes uphill, seems a bit weird but in between the houses on number 43 and 45 are the next stairs down).
Once you are down this one, you simply cross the road and go down the next stairs that’s right in front of you.
You are now down the 3rd stairs and now it gets a little tricky, so pay close attention!
Go right (downhill), towards the intersection and walk to the left. Walk downhill towards the next intersection and go left again. Now after about 40 meters, (on your right side) you will find the last stairs down into a park. From here you got some options how to return to the center of Blanes, just remember to keep going downhill.
Carrer Cardenal Vidal I Barraquer, 51, 17300 Blanes, Girona